Friday, April 21, 2006

The Great Debate

The following is from Cartago Delenda Est via radaractive.

How many Darwinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Charles Darwin: None. But if it could be shown that the bulb entered the socket without a series of clockwise turns, my theory would absolutely break down.

ACLU: None! We have separation of church and state in this country.

Eugenie Scott: None. To say a Darwinist did it is not a scientific explanation.

Panda’s Thumb: None. To say that light bulbs don’t screw themselves in is not a testable proposition. You can’t prove they don’t. That would be an argument from incredulity. You are committing a ‘Darwinist Of The Gaps’ fallacy.

Generic 1: None. Time and chance are sufficient. Eventually it is inevitable that the bulb will be in the socket. Say, in a billion years.

Generic 2: None. The quintessentially non-random process of natural selection is sufficient. Those objects capable of giving off light when screwed into sockets will be in sockets. Those that aren’t will be in the trash.

Richard Dawkins: None. A light bulb that gives off 1% light intensity is very much worth having. A bulb sitting on the shelf at the supermarket gives off a certain amount of light. One in the cupboard at home gives off more. One five feet from the socket gives off more, and one two feet away even more. One in the socket gives off the most of all. It is therefore inevitable that the bulb will reach the socket.

Stephen J. Gould: None. The bulb jumped into the socket when no one was looking. Gradually.

Kenneth Miller: None. The bulb was already serving a function: providing rigidity to its corrugated packaging on the supermarket shelf. Co-option did the rest.

Theistic Evolutionist: All of the above explanations are substantially correct. But the more important question is the meaning of the light.

Philip Johnson: One.

Michael Behe: One.

Stephen Meyer: One.

William Dembski: One.

Guillermo Gonzalez: One. But isn’t it interesting that other light bulbs allowed the Darwinist to see what he was doing as he screwed in this light bulb.

Darwin Chorus: Oh, yeah? Which Darwinist? What is his name? If you won’t tell us that, you’re being disingenuous, and therefore no one screwed in the light bulb!

Flying Spaghetti Monster: Two. But don’t ask me how they got in there. Oh. 'Darwinists'? I thought you said 'fruit flies'.

Michael Ruse: Are you trying to create a theocracy? The light bulbs in the reeducation camps will be depressingly dim. Unless they use candles. Do Christians know how to make fire?

Internet Infidels: First answer this: How many priests did it take to burn Galileo at the stake? Huh?!?

Panda’s Thumb: If a Darwinist had screwed it in, it would be an efficient fluorescent, not a wasteful incandescent. Therefore no one screwed it in.

Talk.Origins: We’ve observed all kinds of light bulbs in all kinds of sockets: flashlights, automobile headlights, Christmas tree lights, Las Vegas marquees. There is nothing special about this light bulb and this socket.

Richard Dawkins: None. Darwin made it possible to feel fulfilled sitting in the dark.

Update: Richard Dawkins has accused me of leaving out one of his best arguments, so I add it below:

Richard Dawkins: To say that it took a Darwinist to do the screwing in of the lightbulb is to explain precisely nothing. The obvious question becomes: Who did the screwing to create the Darwinist screwer? And who did the screwing to create that screwer? There would have to be an infinite regress of screwers. And if you invoke some invisible, mystical Unscrewed Screwer (for which we have no credible evidence) to start the whole thing off, why not just say that the lightbulb screwed itself in and be done with it?

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